June ’02

Did we say smile? Because we meant OOC as in Out Of Control ~ calm yourself little girl…

After a year on the road we went back to Issaquah to visit all of our friends.  We weren’t sure if we were done with full time RV’ing so we decided to put the RV in storage, rent a place, get some work done, and figure out what we wanted to do next.  After all, we left here to find some kind of work we could do as a Family and it was that time to start doing what it was going to be.  It was great to be back home and see our town.  If you didn’t already know Issaquah is the best place to live.

And we’re addicted to Red Robin ~ one of the best places to eat. We hung out with one of our friends Nick from the kids school.  Nick lived up the street from us and is a wicked cool kid.  We sure missed him.  We took Nick out to our favorite restaurant Red Robin to catch up.  When steady income wasn’t a problem we ate here at least once a week, sometimes more.

We also visited the Microsoft Campus where Greg used to work.  It was strange to be a visitor here, but it didn’t bother us.

MiWoli, aka: Mike Wolinski, worked with us at Microsoft and runs Dells team there. When we first were moved to MS by Dell in Oct ’98, Greg was supposed to hire four people to help, then budget cuts left us alone there for about 1.5 years. Mike was one of the first to come on next, he had already lived in the Seattle area and was brought in by a new VP at Dell. Mike knows people (if you know what we mean) and was a great addition to the team. The team then grew to something like seven people by the time Greg bowed out in May ’01 to be barenakedfamily. We keep in touch with Mike because he’s not only likeable by those he gives a rip about (like us, hopefully), we may need a job eventually. Mike also did a pretty cool task of Greg’s job not long after we left ~ Greg was responsible for delivering ‘Gold’ code to Dell when MS would have a major product release. When Windows XP was released, Mike got picked up in a helicopter by Bill Gates to ‘deliver’ the gold code back to Dell. Nice media event, but they actually dropped him off at the airport after a few minutes and he he had to figure out how to get back to the office to Fed-X the package to Austin like it always happened.

We saw some of our other friends from school.  Things are still the same there too.

When the kids scored a homerun and smashed a window, they blamed it on Greg.

We took a trip to the waterfront in Seattle where we used to spend a lot of time.  People told us that we would hate the rain when we moved up from Texas, but it was a nice thing being that we were always in a drought or it was super hot in Texas.  We also got addicted to Starbucks coffee and all of our extra money went there.  And Red Robin.

Seattle is an awesome place and the people are wonderful there.  There is so much to see and do.  There are amazing views of Mt. Rainier from the city and the snow pass is just about thirty minutes down the highway. The beach is a few hours away and is one of the most beautiful ones we have ever seen.  Canada is also just a few hours away, and ya’ll know how we feel about Canada.  Love it!  When we moved up there we explored Washington more than most of the locals.

But as wimpy Texans. Uh, Texas Canadians we mean.

The kids always wanted to go swimming up there but the water is cold. One hot summer day we went to the river with our friends Shauna and Leland to go swimming. The kids were so excited to swim but when they touched the water, they wimped out. Shauna and Leland jumped on a rope swing and dropped in so Austin decided to do the same, but when his toes touched the water he decided not to ~ unfortunately he was already on the rope over the water. He hung as long as he could and was appalled that we didn’t help drag him back to shore on the rope (as if we could). After screaming and throwing a fit, he dropped in and came out purple. The kids didn’t ask to swim outside anymore in WA. We enjoyed the indoor heated pool at the community center in Issaquah.

Amy, Elle, and Duane are great friends of ours we love to hang with.  They live in Alki Beach in Seattle and we love going to their waterfront apt.  They have awesome views of Puget Sound from their living room. Amy used to work at Microsoft with Greg but left after their baby was born and Duane started his own company with some high tech thingies and such.  We also spent one of Jenn’s very cool birthdays with them complete with the Big Pimpin Limo, dinner at the Space Needle, and endless driving around Seattle.  We are really close to these guys because we all share a lot of the same feelings about life around the time we met.  We were making the bucks with a great job, had the love of our spouses, living in cool places, searching for some sort of spiritual meaning, and trying to do the right things all while kind of feeling empty inside. So we filled the voids with lots of food, drugs, alcohol, and sex and had babies and bought too much stuff while medicated heavily. (not really, but kinda).

We went to the hydro boat races they do every year at Lake Sammamish where Ted Bundy found victims.  They bring in all these high dollar boats that are lifted in and out of the water by a crane then race ruthlessly around in circles hoping they don’t crash. There’s live music, food, and vendors and tons of people.  Honestly, we go for the music baby.  The boats are kinda cool too.

Why do girls always flock to the guitar players?

The rest of the band sure would like to know. Here they are trying to get in on the attention.  Yeah, thanks.

Daisy loves hanging out the window no matter where we are as long as we don’t go over thirty miles an hour and Greg is not holding her. He tends to throw her out the window at passersby to laugh.

We were hanging out at the local park we used to go to all the time and we met Amy.  Amy is from this area and  is a cool girl.  We hung out with her for a few hours and talked about life and such, we really enjoy meeting people like her.  Kind of makes the world feel more real.  Amy stopped shaving back in high school because she was tired of it hurting all the time.  She was totally upfront with her reasoning about shaving and has never given a crap about the remarks she gets.  She appreciates the fact that it is different from most.  Now she sports some tufts and actually is really clean about the whole thing. It’s still kinda freaky seeing armpit bushes pop out every now and then.

Then we strangled Daisy.  No, Daisy does weird tricks.  She likes to jump into Jenn’s arms and she caught her in mid act. It’s very chiropractic.

We went and visited Ted Bundy’s place which is located down the road from where we lived.  Our friends Leland and Shauna first took us here years ago.  It is in the middle of some woods off the highway and you have to leave your car on the road to walk back to it.  It is really creepy and there are lots of local legends about him and his parents who lived right next door.  You can see what’s left of his house which was torn down years ago because people kept going out there.  But people still go out there. Weird and creepy people.

The kids love looking around the property.  They have no idea what they are looking for, but they are looking.  You can see the roof line of his house.  There are parts where you can see into some windows laying on the ground.  He picked up a few of his victims at Lake Sammamish, the local park that we often hang at.  There were also some victims found in this same area.

Austin was pretty ready to go early on.  He is easy to scare and he knows we love to do that.

This was Ted Bundy’s parents house that is still standing.  The story goes that his parents used to keep watch over his property because all the local kids kept going out there.  Story has it that they were pretty crazy as well and would often come out yelling and running the kids off.  Their house is open so we went in and walked around. It was one of the creepiest things we have ever done. There were tons of newspapers everywhere and odds and ends laying around.  There was a second story so we went upstairs and looked around.  The house was very old and had holes in the floors so we had to be careful as we walked around.  The inside had graffiti all over it and there were beer bottles all over. Don’t try this at home. Only seasoned experts should attempt this.

We took the kids on some hikes we used to do around our house.  The woods there are full of trees, flowers, water, and animals.  There are lots of trees that have fallen because of the windstorms that go through the area.

The trees are so tall and can fall over with winds of about only thirty miles an hour. Windstorms in Texas are called tornadoes ~ 30mph is nothing! Unless you’re dealing with 100 ft + trees…

Seattle Mariners Baseball star sighting ~ Jay, the bald white guy on the team.  The Seattle Mariners baseball team mostly lives in Issaquah and are often seen eating and shopping with their families.

We took these photos secretly while dining at Red Robin, again.

We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary and decided to do something we always wanted to do since we lived there.  We took a trip by ferry to the San Juan Islands and rented a little cottage out on the water!  This was our first time out to the San Juans so it was really exciting.

The ferries in Washington are more like huge ships with cafes!  They can hold about 250 cars and about 2500 people.  It’s a pretty inexpensive ride and fun with the whole family.  They have several decks that you can hang out on.  We used to to take the ones out of Seattle to some of the outlaying Islands in Puget Sound just for the fun of it.

Inside the ferry is a nice ride unlike the low rider ferries in CA that keep bouncing the hydraulics to show off while playing that loud rap music through enormous subwoofers.

True barenakedfamily style we took the kids with us on our anniversary.  We brought our new friend Amy along with us to sit with the kids when we wanted to ‘be alone’ on the San Juan Islands.  But we prefer to have them with us as much as possible and we enjoyed Amy’s company just as much.

Another photo for you to say ‘why do they take pictures like this’?  Well what the heck would you do in a situation like that?

Amy won.

Inside the lodge where we stayed in Roche Harbor with our new desk friend.  Turns out our friends the Nodlands had their honeymoon here, we learned this when we house-sat for them in Mission Beach and noticed a painting of a familiar lodge.  Guess we’re almost as cool as them.

The place has a hotel and cottages situated throughout the property with walking paths all over.  There are docks and restaurants as well and even a little chapel.  There is no TV or phone and pretty much no entertainment out there, you come to get away.

Amy hung with the kids in one of the gardens as we walked through the property one day.  There were many cool places to sit and relax like this. We found a playground the kids liked to play in with a great view of the harbor.

Our decrepit cabin was filled with hooks hanging off the roof and had several signs saying not to go in.  The door swung open as we walked by and we heard some creaking noises coming from the inside. When we looked inside the lights shut off and a door slammed shut so we hauled!

Actually, this was the little cottage that we stayed in. It was a fully furnished two bedroom with a huge kitchen.  It was so awesome!  We had our own bedroom and Amy and the kids shared the other together.  When it came time to leave we decided to wake Amy and the kids with a blast of Metallica as loud as we could get it.  Scared the crap out of those lazy people.

Our view from the cottage we stayed in was incredible. It was a great place to stay and we even had our own little yard.  There weren’t many people out there when we were there and it was so quiet, till we turned on Metallica.  You should go see this place if you are ever in Washington.

At the end of this trip we found a cute little place to rent, two bedrooms and about 700 square feet.  It was a perfect amount of room for us. Don’t think we will ever be able to go back to anything larger than that.  Anyway, we arranged a six month lease on the place which was situated right in downtown Issaquah.  We were excited were ready to pursue work that we could do together as a Family.  We had toured the country for about a year and we were having to start doing what’s next.  During that year of traveling we had been thinking about what we could do as far as work and came up with all sorts of ideas.  We still had some money in the bank that would help get us started.  At this time we set up an Internet connection, phone, utilities and started living. Or something like that.  It was at this time that we launched our first website ~ GregJennandKids.com.  That name would not last.

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